The Holland College Hurricanes will be playing for a conference title Sunday in Fredericton.
The men’s basketball team picked a good time to heat up from outside with the game on the line late in Saturday’s semifinal against the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics.
Facing a five-point deficit with less than 15 seconds to go, Alvin Parker hit a three-pointer to bring the Hurricanes to within two. Holland College got the ball back and Steve Hardy connected from beyond the arc to give them a thrilling 58-57 win. Until that point the Hurricanes hadn’t made a three-point shot since early in the second quarter.
“We were struggling all game. I’m not sure what the numbers were, I’m sure they were ugly, but when it counted, we made sure they went in,” said Chase Bowden, who led the Hurricanes with 20 points, 18 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. “They’re one of the best teams in the country, so we just had to stick together and we did.”
Bowden praised the boisterous Hurricanes' fan base.
“Last time we were in this gym, we had no one here with us, and the crowd got to us,” he added.
“But today, with the big fan base, they were able to keep up with the Mount, and that was a huge help.”
Parker also had a strong game for Holland College, finishing just two assists short of a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The Hurricanes will play in their first Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championship game at 3:30 p.m. against the defending conference champion St. Thomas Tommies, who defeated the Crandall Chargers 79-70 in the other semifinal.
The Hurricanes got off to a blistering start Saturday, with Bowden putting up nine points to put Holland College up 21-7 after the first quarter.
The Mystics started to claw back in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run late led by six from Brandon Doyle to cut the Hurricanes lead to 32-25 at halftime.
The Mystics carried the momentum into the second half and led 43-41 heading to the fourth.
The Mystics continued to match Holland College for the majority of the fourth quarter, with Emad Khalek getting hot early in the fourth quarter. The Mystics were able to keep the lead at five until the final minute, setting the stage for Hardy’s heroics.
He only scored six points in the game, but his three-point shot from the corner proved to be the game-winner with seven seconds left.